Hershey/ SF Great Adventure TR: Day #1 Hershey
Finally, after a long, off-season, parks are open and rollercoasters are up and running. We had plans to visit Six Flags Great Adventure on Easter Sunday and Monday, but wanted to visit a park on the way there on Saturday. We knew Hershey was an option, but we also knew Skyrush wouldn't be running. I also knew Hershey was only charging $29.95 per ticket at the gate, which is reasonable. Originally my daughter, Haley, my son, Hayden, and I were going to make this trip. Due to my son's recent behavior and academic status, I was forced to leave him at home. I really wanted him to go. I have the most fun when my kids are with at parks. Due to a chain of events that happened in the off season, this punishment was unfortunately necessary. I could not reward such unacceptable behavior. Hopefully he learns this hard lesson. With my daughter and I going, my brother Matt, decided he wanted to join us. Matt is my younger brother by 6 years and is rollercoaster enthusiast. Before this trip, his coaster count was 108. Matt traveled with me to parks years ago. Due to diabetic complications, he hasn't been able to visit amusement parks for the last several years. In fact he only has a portion of his right foot remaining. He erred a special shoe that is fitted with a prosthetic. Matt hasn't been to Hershey since we were kids in 1991 (22 years ago). With my brother joining us, Hershey was a must visit.
We left home around 5:30 am Saturday morning. We stopped for breakfast at Breezewood, and arrived at Hershey at 9:30am. We put the car in park and walked over to Chocolate World. Being that brother was 9 years old during his last visit to the park, he little to no recollection of Hershey. In a sense, it Hershey would be a new experience for him. After our ride at Chocolate World we headed to the main gate. It was about 9:50am and every gate had a pretty long line. Once the gates opened, it took about 10 minutes to get into the park.
Once in the park we headed straight for Fahrenheit. When we got to the top of the hill, I could see that Fahrenheit was down. We then headed for Storm Runner. We walked right into the station and could have walked on. We chose to wait 6 trains for front seat. Storm Runner was running great. The launch, the climb, the decent, the inversions, everything was terrific. This was the perfect way to kick off the 2013 season. Later on in the day we rode Storm Runner again in the 2nd row. We waited about 10 minutes and got another fantastic ride.
Next up was Sidewinder. We walked on to the 2nd row. The newer, soft restraints really make this Boomerang coaster very enjoyable. No head banging, and just a fun ride.
While we were on Sidewinder, I could see Fahrenheit testing empty trains. We headed over to Fahrenheit, with a handful of people already waiting. We agreed to give it 10 minutes to see if they were going to open the ride. After 10 minutes they let us in. We decided to wait for the back seat. I think we ended up waiting 2 trains. I have to say Fahrenheit is running really good this year. That shake it had last year is gone, it's very smooth. I did notice new wheels on both trains that were running. My brother loved that ride, so we rode it again later in the day. We ended up waiting about 35 minutes, but we waited for the front seat. The front seat ride was even better, and that was the first time I had multiple rides on Fahrenheit in the same day. I'm really glad Hershey addressed that problem. Fahrenheit is running like was in 2008.
We then headed for Wildcat. They were only running one train, and half the line was half way down the ramp. We waited about 30 minutes and grabbed the 2nd row. Last September we had a great front seat ride on Wildcat. I was hoping the coaster was starting to return to its original form. Well this year, it's not running quite as good. It was still very tolerable, but very bumby and jerky. I have said this before, I love Wildcat's layout. They just need to make the coaster smooth once again.
We headed across to The Wild Mouse. We waited about 10 minutes, and got our ride on one of the best Wild Mouse coasters in the country.
We then headed for Lightning Racer. This ended up being my brother's favorite ride in the park. We rode Thunder twice and Lighting twice, all in the back seat. Both sides are running great. I noticed some new track work on the Lightning side. They were only running one set of trains, and we had to wait 2 or 3 trains every time we rode it. Like I said, it's running great. There's moments of air time, and laterals, but it is running super smooth.
We then took a break for lunch. After lunch we took a back seat ride on Trailblazer. We waited about 10 mintutes. They had 2 trains running. Trailblazer is one of the milder mine rides, but we always try to ride it at least once every time we visit Hershey.
We headed up the hill to Great Bear. There was only a 5-10 minute wait. I had to ride in the big guy seat. This is another coaster my brother was really impressed with. For me, I really like Great Bear because its a B&M invert, but I feel It's the weakest of the 16 B&M inverts that I've ridden. I do like how Great Bear is built custom to the park, and It's over water. My complaint is the track length and only 4 inversions. Anyway, we got back in line for a 2nd ride. One thing I should mention is Great Bear is running very smooth.
We headed down the hill and got in line for Sooper Dooper Looper. We actually had to wait about 25 minutes for a 2nd row ride. SDL is not very thrilling, but its a classic ride, and I have a lot of memories of that coaster from my childhood.
On this trip we did not get to ride the Comet. Both times that.we checked, it had almost a full que. (probably a 45 minute wait) We did the dark ride, Hershey's Reeces Cup Extreme Challenge. We waited about 30 minutes. My daughter Haley had the high score.
It was about 7:00pm. I wanted to make some miles and make sure everyone got some good rest. I drove to the Reading exit and got a room at Red Roof Inn. We had a fantastic first day of our coaster season. Hershey is my daughter's favorite park, and my brother was extremely impressed with it. I'm disappointed that I didn't get to ride Skyrush. As most of you know, I love that coaster. The good news is that Hershey has other great rollercoasters. I still had a great time, even without riding my favorite coaster at the park.
Thanks for reading,